Praise the Almighty, this game was on TV. The local Fox station in Cedar Rapids has picked up the Cardinals KSDK games, or it least it seems that way. That means I’m no longer stuck with just waiting for national broadcasts. This might not sound like much for you lucky people with Fox Sports Midwest, but this news made for a glorious Sunday afternoon for me. Happy baseball days are here again.
Three Stars of the Game:
- Carp + 34.6%
- Freese +11.1%
- Boog +4.3%
Aside from a horrible, horrible game one of the series, Freese capped off a splendid week with another homerun, his third in the last four games. Thanks to a solid start to the season, Freese’s updated ZiPS projection has him pegged for a .348 wOBA on the season.
The Reds seemed to have their bats glued to their shoulder against Carpenter. 9 of his 100 pitches were swinging strikes, yet he K’d 8.
I don’t think Brandon Phillips bunting in the 4th inning with Stubbs on second base with no outs was the dumbest decision ever. Busch III isn’t a high run scoring environment, and runs are hard to come by with Carpenter pitching. And the Reds should be able to count on Aaron Harang to keep them in games.
I could understand it more if it was more of a sneaky bunt with Phillips’ speed. Even with the straight up bunt attempt, his speed still can cause problems for the defense. The bunt decreased the Reds win expectancy by just 2.2%, and their run expectancy went down slightly, from 1.58 to 1.56. Votto was up next, and things were looking good for Cincy.
Carpenter’s walk to Votto set-up the double play, but it also increased the Reds’ WE to 2.3, and now Carpenter had to face Rolen, who is no easy out. So the bunt wasn’t a horrible call, and the walk to Votto very well could have blown up in Carpenter’s face. I’m not sure it’s as clear cut as the “all sacrificing is dumb” crowd would make this out to be.